SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory - Winter Storm Warning View Alerts

Rubio: Trump should be 'clear-eyed' about who Putin is

Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday that he supports President Donald Trump interacting with Russian President V...

Posted: Jul 23, 2018 7:37 AM
Updated: Jul 23, 2018 7:37 AM

Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday that he supports President Donald Trump interacting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but said Trump should be aware of Putin's human rights record and zero-sum approach to the US-Russia relationship.

"I don't have a problem with the President of the United States interacting with the president of the Russian Federation," Rubio said. "They've got a lot of nuclear weapons, and so we do need to interact with them. That is separate from the question of whether or not we should be clear-eyed about who Putin is."

Rubio, who made his comments in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," said he regretted Trump's handling of his meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, last week, where he appeared to side with Putin over the US intelligence community on alleged Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.

Trump clarified his remarks after returning to the United States, saying that after reviewing a transcript and video of his statements, he realized he had misspoken in a key sentence about Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

"The sentence should have been: 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia,' " he said. "Sort of a double negative."

Referring to Trump's claim later that he meant to say "wouldn't" instead of "would" at the summit, Rubio said, "I'm glad he came back the next day and sort of walked that back."

Rubio said he did not "know what to believe" about Trump's "would" versus "wouldn't" remarks, but he reiterated that he was glad Trump tried to walk back the remark.

"I don't think it was a good moment for this administration, and I disagreed with it," Rubio said. "I know he came back the next day and said something to clean that up. And I'm glad that he did it, you know? I'm glad that he cleaned that up because it left, if you watched that video, it leaves the impression that my intelligence community says one thing, Putin says another, I'm siding with Putin, and that was a bad impression to leave behind."

He added, "I don't like the way this was handled."

Rubio counts himself as one of Putin's chief critics in Washington, and in his interview Sunday, he accused Putin of perpetrating war crimes and killing political opponents. He said that because of Trump's lack of political background, there was at times a clash between Trump's approach to Putin and the more hardline approach other politicians might have delivered in his position.

"I don't have any doubt that President Trump is aware of the things Vladimir Putin has done," Rubio said. "I'm not sure his rhetoric reflects that, but his policies do."

In his assessment of Putin, Rubio said he did not believe the Russian leader expected a better relationship with the United States and was more "interested in gaining advantage at our expense and to his benefit."

Rubio said that where he agreed with the Trump administration's approach, including arming Ukraine, he would support it, and where he and other lawmakers could influence the administration, including on election security, they would.

Rubio pointed to congressional efforts on Russia, including a bill from him and Maryland Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen to address election security and Russia that recently picked up some additional support in the Senate as lawmakers continue to warn of future attempts by Moscow to interfere in US elections.

Rubio: Real possibility of civil war in Nicaragua

In addition to his pointed remarks about Russia, Rubio also anticipated that there could be further sanctions from the US on Nicaragua, given recent violence in the Latin American nation.

"I think you're going to see, and there's already work being done, to set a series of sanctions against individuals and entities in Nicaragua," Rubio said.

The US announced new sanctions earlier this month against three Nicaraguan individuals as heated protests and violence have ratcheted up.

Rubio, calling Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega an "old man" and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, "crazy," said, "There is no future with them in power."

He went on to say the United States has the responsibility and authority to get involved.

"The possibility of a civil war in Nicaragua is real," Rubio said. "It would trigger a migratory crisis. It would undermine our anti-drug efforts in the region. There is a direct national security interest for the United States in seeing democracy and stability in Nicaragua."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 137600

Reported Deaths: 1877
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah29040464
Washington19216179
Marion16668247
Clackamas11989141
Lane8724113
Jackson712295
Umatilla697673
Deschutes517140
Yamhill329448
Malheur319855
Linn319449
Polk256340
Klamath252446
Josephine182636
Benton181714
Douglas175944
Jefferson173425
Union114617
Wasco111723
Columbia107518
Lincoln102717
Coos98315
Hood River97621
Morrow96310
Clatsop7075
Crook65213
Baker5825
Tillamook3692
Curry3245
Lake2485
Grant2171
Harney1806
Wallowa993
Gilliam531
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3147735

Reported Deaths: 36846
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles106550515184
San Bernardino2628581594
Riverside2585322777
San Diego2255582344
Orange2214932625
Santa Clara964351181
Kern89095590
Fresno847441043
Sacramento828611157
Alameda69693886
Ventura64404507
San Joaquin59395808
Contra Costa54416487
Stanislaus43938788
Tulare42759531
Monterey37285259
San Mateo33731340
San Francisco30027278
Santa Barbara26514264
Solano26494111
Imperial25562493
Merced25048324
Sonoma24761247
Kings19760160
Placer17675188
San Luis Obispo16437151
Madera13781151
Santa Cruz12687130
Marin11930163
Yolo11014138
Shasta9920129
Butte9711134
El Dorado800259
Sutter792783
Napa782847
Lassen526916
San Benito514348
Yuba504929
Tehama446846
Tuolumne344340
Nevada329674
Mendocino325635
Amador304232
Lake268132
Humboldt249425
Glenn198522
Colusa18549
Calaveras167223
Siskiyou148413
Mono11354
Inyo100729
Del Norte8732
Plumas6055
Modoc3873
Mariposa3464
Trinity3054
Sierra880
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Medford
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 37°
Brookings
Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 36°
Medford
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 21° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 37°
Medford
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 36°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 24°
Wintry weather expected on Sunday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events